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Two cases of rare monkeypox confirmed in London
14 May 2022, 10:42 | Updated: 14 May 2022, 12:11
Two people have been diagnosed with monkeypox in London, health officials have confirmed.
The pair live together in the same household and are not linked to the previous confirmed case in England which was announced on May 7, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.
Of the latest two cases, one person is receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London.
The other person is isolating and does not currently require hospital treatment, the UKHSA said.
Health officials said they are investigating where and how the latest cases of monkeypox acquired their infection.
People who might have been in close contact with either case are being contacted and given information and health advice, the UKHSA said.
Dr Colin Brown, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UKHSA, said: "We have confirmed two new monkeypox cases in England that are not linked to the case announced on May 7.
"While investigations remain ongoing to determine the source of infection, it is important to emphasise it does not spread easily between people and requires close personal contact with an infected symptomatic person. The overall risk to the general public remains very low.
"We are contacting any potential friends, family or contacts in the community. We are also working with the NHS to reach any healthcare contacts who have had close contact with the cases prior to confirmation of their infection, to assess them as necessary and provide advice."
Professor Julian Redhead, medical director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "We are caring for a patient in our specialist high consequence infectious diseases unit at St Mary's Hospital.
"All of the necessary infectious control procedures have been followed and we are working closely with UKHSA and NHS England."
The first UK case of monkeypox was recorded in September 2018. The individual was also believed to have contracted the infection in Nigeria.
It is usually a mild illness and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.
A rash can also develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body, the UKHSA said.